ITER news can be found here. Other recent fusion program news can be found below.

News about the U.S. Burning Plasma Organization can be found here.



2015 FES Theory & Simulation Performance Target: Final report of the 2015 Theory and Simulation Performance Target on plasma turbulence simulations to determine expected transport in ITER.

February 9, 2016

2015 FES JRT Report: Final report of the FES 2015 Joint Research Target (JRT) on conducting experiments and analysis to quantify the impact of broadened current and pressure profiles on tokamak plasma confinement and stability.

February 9, 2016

U.S. Participation in the ITER Project  May 2016
Final Call for U.S. Papers for the 26th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference. January 12, 2016 
Office of Fusion Energy Sciences - Ten-Year Perspective (2015-2025) December 2015
Second Call for U.S. Papers for the 26th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference: The deadline for submission of the abstracts and two-page extended synopses to the U.S. Paper Selection Committee is January 18, 2016. Please follow the submission instructions and use the Excel spreadsheet template.

December 3, 2015

Submission Instructions

Submission Template

Initial Call for U.S. Papers for the 26th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference: FES has started to plan the process for selecting the U.S. papers for the 26th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference (FEC2016), which will be held in Kyoto, Japan, October 17-22, 2016. The abstracts and the two-page synopses will be due to the U.S. Paper Selection Committee on January 18, 2016. Detailed submission instructions will be issued soon. October 30, 2015
2014 FES JRT Report: Final report of the FES 2014 Joint Research Target (JRT) on the plasma response to non-axisymmetric (3D) magnetic fields in tokamaks. September 30, 2014 
2014 FES Theory & Simulation Performance Target: Final report of the 2014 theory and simulation performance target on understanding alpha particle confinement in ITER. September 30, 2014 
Highlights from the 2014 International Sherwood Fusion Theory Conference. March 24, 2014 
Call for U.S. Papers for the 25th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference:The deadline for submission of the abstracts and two-page extended synopses to the U.S. Paper Selection Committee is February 5, 2014. Schedule and Submission Guidance
After several years of service, the FES Procurement Specialist, John Sauter, retired on December 31, 2013. If you have a procurement inquiry, please direct it to the FES Procurement Inbox ( or contact your FES Program Manager. January, 2014 
FY2013 Joint High Energy Density Laboratory Plasma Program: The Department of Energy’s Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) have awarded 10 new research grants totaling $4.7 million as part of the Joint High Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas (HEDLP) Program. November, 2013
FY2013 HEDLP Awards
2013 FES JRT Report: Final report of the FES 2013 Joint Research Target (JRT) on the evaluation of stationary enhanced confinement regimes without large Edge Localized Modes. September 30, 2013
 Highlights from the 2013 International Sherwood Fusion Theory Conference. April 15, 2013
An Assessment of the Prospects for Inertial Fusion Energy: Final report of the Committee on the Prospects for Inertial Fusion Energy (IFE) Systems of the National Research Council.

February 20, 2013
Prospects for IFE Report

Assessment of Inertial Confinement Fusion Targets Report

2012 FES JRT report: Final report of the FES 2012 Joint Research Target (JRT) focused toward improved understanding of core transport in tokamak plasmas. September 30, 2012
Call for U.S. Papers for the 24th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference:The deadline for submission of the abstracts and two-page extended synopses to the U.S. Paper Selection Committee is February 8, 2012. Schedule and Submission Guidance
2011 FES JRT report: Final report of the FES 2011 Joint Facilities and Theory Research Target focused on the physics mechanisms controlling the structure of the edge pedestal in tokamak plasmas.
November 28, 2011

New Beam Emission Spectroscopy system on the NSTX:  The diagnostic development research group at the University of Wisconsin has recently obtained first measurements of long-wavelength density fluctuations in the NSTX spherical torus with a newly deployed Beam Emission Spectroscopy (BES) system. The NSTX-BES system has demonstrated very high signal-to-noise performance, allowing for detailed, time-resolved investigation of fluctuations associated with turbulence, energetic particle-driven modes including global Alfven eigenmodes (GAE), and pedestal characteristics. The system has been operating and measurements have been obtained for dozens of NSTX experiments in the last run campaign. Preliminary measurements demonstrate: suppression of edge and core turbulence at the L-H transition; core localized GAE modes, thought to be important to electron transport; a rotational shear dependence of turbulence; and pedestal-localized modes.

February 17, 2011

U.S. Plasma Physicist Honored by the European Physical Society:  The plasma physics division of the European Physical Society (EPS) announced that Professor Patrick H. Diamond of the University of California, San Diego will share the 2011 Hannes Alfvén Prize with Professors Akira Hasegawa and Kunioki Mima, both of Osaka University in Japan. The prestigious Hannes Alfvén Prize—established in 2000 and bearing the name of the only Nobel Prize winner for work in plasma physics—is awarded each year to one or more persons that have made outstanding contributions to plasma physics. The award to Professor Diamond and to the other two scientists is made “for laying the foundations of modern numerical transport simulations and key contributions on self-generated zonal flows and flow shear decorrelation mechanisms which form the basis of modern turbulence in plasmas”. Professor Diamond will receive the award during the opening session of the 38th EPS Conference on Plasma Physics, to be held from June 27 to July 1, 2011, in Strasbourg, France.

February 10, 2011

Imaging of laser wakefield structures featured in Nature Photonics: Intense laser pulses propagating through plasma generate a wake of charge separation creating structures of very strong potential gradients. Accurate visualization is critical to improved understanding of these structures and to the function of devices based on them. In earlier measurements, the team led by Michael Downer at the University of Texas at Austin was able to get a snapshot of the refractive index at a single time-delay behind the pump pulse and built up an image of the structure by combining multi-shot data.  However, due to fluctuations from shot to shot, this method is not accurate enough to observe the evolution of the structure. As highlighted in the February, 2011 issue of Nature Photonics and published in Optics Letters, ZhengYan Li and co-workers from the University of Texas at Austin, have demonstrated a novel imaging technique enabling the observation of the longitudinal structure with a single shot [Optics Letters 35, 4087 (2010)]. By probing at two different angles, combining Frquency-Domain Holography (FDH) and Frequency-Domian Streak Camera (FDSC) techniques, the team has been able to capture the picosecond time evolution of the refractive index structures in a single shot. This work is supported by the Office of Fusion Energy Science Basic Plasma Science program and was awarded through the NSF/DOE Partnership in Basic Plasma Science.

February 10, 2011

Plasma rotation studies in Alcator C-Mod:  Because of the beneficial effects of plasma rotation on stability in tokamaks it is important to understand what causes bulk rotation in fusion plasmas.  Rotation without external torque input, referred to as intrinsic rotation, has been observed on multiple tokamak experiments.  Under certain circumstances on the Alcator C-Mod tokamak the direction of intrinsic rotation in the core plasma actually reverses direction.  These rotation reversals have been observed and studied in C-Mod Ohmic plasmas by ramping the electron density. The density at which the reversal occurs increases linearly with plasma current, and is strongly correlated with the density at which the global energy confinement time switches from the linear (so-called Alcator) regime, where the electron channel appears to dominate, to the saturated Ohmic confinement regime.  This evidence of the potential coupling of transport and rotation will assist with developing models to more accurately predict the rotation velocities in tokamak plasmas.

February 2, 2011

ITER Research on DIII-D:  The ITER facility planned by the international fusion community will be the world’s first burning plasma experiment and will provide the critical science answers for the development of fusion as an energy source.  Motivated  by urgent R&D requirements on ITER, the DIII-D National Fusion Facility has run experiments aimed at successfully mitigating and controlling Edge Localized Modes (ELMs), which are edge disruptions in a fusion plasma that could potentially cause serious damage to power exhaust system if unchecked.  There is a high degree of confidence that based on discoveries at DIII-D and elsewhere, mitigation of ELMs will be possible and that they will not present a performance limiting issue during ITER operations.  DIII-D has also worked to assess the magnetic field effects of Test Blanket Modules (TBMs) on the operations a large-scale magnetically confined fusion device, such as ITER.  U.S. leadership in these areas has moved these two issues well towards a positive resolution in a time frame that is very helpful for ITER.

This research was enabled through a combination of base funding and ARRA support.

June 8-9, 2010

Presentation by M. J. Schaffer for the International TBM Team and the DIII-D Team

Presentation by Ted Strait for the ITER Physics Group

Effective June 7, 2009, Dr. Edmund Synakowski will be the new Associate Director of the Office of Science for the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) in the U.S. Department of Energy. <more>

May 2009

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